Congresswoman Mugged on Capitol Hill Tuesday


The Washington Post reports:

“Responding police officers found [Rep. Grace] Meng disoriented at 2nd St. and Independence Avenue SE with bruising and swelling to the back of the left side of her head, and injuries to her left knee, hand and face. All Meng could tell police was that she had dinner on 8th Street SE and her black Gucci tote bag was stolen during the attack.”

Thanks to all who sent emails.

41 Comment

  • Really scary. Apparently the muggers left behind an old phone of Meng’s, and police are lifting fingerprints from it to try and find the muggers.

    I love living in Eastern Market, and consider it pretty safe, so things like this shake me up.

  • Knocked out, wow!? Odd thing to have happen in DC really.

  • Eastern Market is not safe. I was attacked at gun point over a year ago on 7th and G SE (a block from Barracks Row and 2 blocks form the police station). The attacker kicked my dog and she flew through the air and hit a wall (I thought he killed her as she’s only 20lbs and he was about 250lbs). I fought him off as my fatherly instinct took over to protect my dog. My dog was fine, had the wind knocked out of her. He tried to grab my wallet, but I was screaming for my life and he ran back to his car and took off. He double parked and asked for directions–next thing I knew was he was in my face with a gun to my chest. It was 10:30pm on a Sunday night and not one neighbor came to help. There was actually a woman getting into her car about 4 car lengths ahead…I ran to her for help and she drove off. It’s quite sad. I will never by giving anyone directions again.

    Weeks after that the Maslin gentleman was attacked. It’s sick.

    • I live in Capitol Hill, and while I generally love living here, our neighbors are often not as neighborly as our quaint surroundings would suggest. Very few smile and say hello on the street or stop to help a stranger in need. I recently stopped to help a woman struggling to load a large table into her car, and she said she had been trying to move it for half an hour and no one would stop and help her (she even flat out asked people). Similar things have happened on several occasions, both to me and my small town-raised bf. I can’t imagine how someone could live with themselves after refusing to help someone who’d just been mugged or seeing someone robbed. I’m a woman, and I might keep my distance just in case you’re a crazy, but I can’t fathom just driving off. It seems like those who know each other have built a close-knit community for themselves, but aren’t as welcoming to strangers.

      Overall, I feel fairly safe (and the stats back me up), though I try to avoid less busy streets, but there are times when my neighborhood disappoints me.

      • AG, I have to admit, being mugged has caused me to be VERY cautious and I’ve turned into one of those people who may not be as welcoming. Sadly, I’m almost always “on guard” when someone passes me on the street who I don’t recognize.

        I do agree though, we all need to be more neighborly. I’m just a bit turned off as I was screaming for my life and not one person helped. There is no way you couldn’t have heard my screams on that block right around CHAW.

      • That’s bizarre– I wonder if the woman with the table was being truthful. I live near Eastern Market and can’t imagine someone not being offered help with something like that. Last night, for example, I was outside for 5 minutes sweeping leaves off the sidewalk and had a couple people ask if I’d like a hand and compliment me on doing a good job.

        I’m not part of the close knit community you speak of, but it’s still unusual to pass someone on the street without receiving at least a smile. I’m pretty sure most of the crime is coming from people who don’t actually live here– on the rare occasions that a criminal is caught they usually have a MD address.

        • Same experience. If I’ve ever looked like I’m struggling with something, someone walking by always offers to help me out.

          Had a stranger help me carry my laundry down our front steps one time.

          I love living in the neighborhood.

      • I’m not sure why you think quaint surroundings would equate to warm and friendly neighbors. Clearly you’ve never tried living in Old Town. 😉

    • So sorry that happened to you. I live over near 16th and A SE. Rest assured that if I saw you or your dog getting attacked, I’d have been hard pressed not to jump in and try to help. Glad to hear you and your dog made it out okay!

    • I don’t think CHAW has many events taking place as late as 10:30 pm on a Sunday. That part of 7th is kind of dark, with a lot of businesses like law offices that wouldn’t be open either, so I can see how no one would be around. I’m sorry that happened to you, but I can understand why the woman drove off. If I were alone late at night in an unfamiliar neighborhood and a man was running toward me I’d probably flee too. Most of the people driving to Eastern Market on the weekends are from the suburbs and think everyone in DC is out to get them.
      Why are you still there if you don’t think it’s a safe place to live?

  • shows you what good tommy would do as mayor. cant even get his own ward sorted out.

    • “cant even get his own ward sorted out.”

      By sorting out do you mean stopping all crime? I didn’t know performing miracles was a qualification needed to be mayor.

      • If by “performing miracles” you mean, making it is possible for citizens to walk down a busy street at 8:30 on a weekday evening without the threat of being violently assaulted and mugged, then I guess maybe we do need a mayor who can perform this particular “miracle”

        • I don’t think there’s any place in the world, aside from maybe a private island, where one can walk down a street at 8:30 on a weekday without the possibility of being mugged.

  • if the person gets caught is the punishment more severe? since she’s a congressional member?

  • fingerprints for a mugging? because they do that for everyone and not just members of congress right?

  • Scary for this to happen at this time. Shouldn’t there have been plenty of witnesses?

  • Did anyone see that WJLA report about a game called “Knockout” that some thuggish type kids are practicing? Apparently you’re supposed to try to knock out a pedestrian with one punch from behind and it’s led to deaths in NYC and St Louis. This sounds a bit like that.

  • if street thugs sent a little more time watching CSPAN and a little less time mugging people, things like this wouldn’t happen.

  • Isn’t there a cop parked at 2nd and Independence basically 24 hours a day?

    • Yes, but she was walking from 8th toward the Capitol and this apparently happened near 6th and Penn. The fact that there is a constant police presence just a few blocks away, and that this is the exact same area where another Capitol Hill resident was brutally beaten and robbed last year (the Maslin case), makes this really distressing

      • I fondly remember being called a troll for commenting on a GDoN post a couple years ago in regards to that park being sketchy. Even Capitol Hill has pockets that should be avoided, and I’ve always felt that Seward Square was one of them. I won’t go past it at night.

        • I live right around the corner from that park, and walk through/past it most days (occasionally well in to the wee hours of the morning). There are always a good number of homeless people in the area, probably a result of the surrounding churches and soup kitchens. I think that certainly contributes to the sketchy feel. These blocks are also usually quite quiet, so that contributes to the uncomfortable feelings.

          The biggest thing I will say in support of these direct blocks is that there is ALWAYS a large police presence. If one isn’t in view immediately, wait a second and one will turn the corner. The other thing is that there are usually people out walking dogs relatively late at night in the park on 3rd, so it’s not like it is completely deserted.

          The one block that I think is the worst is exactly where this assault happened: Penn between 6th and 7th. After midnight there are usually groups of unsavory characters sitting around, and the later hours get even worse as bars close up.

          I will always lend a helping hand, but I do find that people in the area tend to stick to themselves. Interactions tend to be friendly from what I have seen, so hopefully it is just a few crabby apples.

  • Because of the Maslin incident and because of my friend John’s incident (the one who was mugged at gunpoint and his dog kicked on 7th and G SE), I ALWAYS have pepper spray on me. And believe me, it’s in my hand in my pocket almost 100% of the time. It sucks that I have to profile — but I don’t feel guilty (nor wrong) about it anymore. It’s sad that I can’t walk home from Pour House on a Saturday evening because I’m actually scared. Or I can’t walk home from Eastern Market metro if it’s past 9pm. I’ve started driving to the metro if I know I’ll be out later. And what about the gas station attacks/muggings/robberies that were happening a few months ago (all off of Penn)? Something needs to be done about the crime NOW. No slaps on the wrists.

    • What can be done? Ok, so no slaps on the wrists — then what, exactly? When this 14 – 22-year-old gets caught, should he go away for 15, 20 years? Then what do we get when he’s 32 and fresh out of prison? Doesn’t seem to work. Or maybe close down Potomac Gardens and other areas of concentrated poverty. But then what? Where do those people go? It’s not as easy as you think.

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